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“Awesome, well organised value for money”

Alcatraz Cruises, LLC
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Visit San Francisco's most notorious site: Alcatraz. The rich history of Alcatraz Island means there is always something new to discover. See the first lighthouse on the West Coast, learn about Alcatraz as a Civil War fort, hear voices from the past on the cellhouse audio tour, find out about the 19-month occupation of Alcatraz by Indians of all tribes, and explore the natural side of the Rock with beautiful gardens, bird colonies, and breathtaking views. All tickets include roundtrip ferry transportation, all regularly scheduled Ranger-led or docent guided tours, and a captivating audio tour in the prison cellhouse with actual interviews of former guards and inmates who lived on the island during the infamous Federal Penitentiary era (now available in 11 languages - English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Dutch, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian). Reserve tickets in advance and make sure to book through Alcatraz Cruises for guaranteed lowest prices. Alcatraz Cruises is the official National Park Service concessioner serving visitors to Alcatraz Island. Open seven days a week, with several daily departures, Alcatraz is a place to experience for locals and visitors alike. Alcatraz Island is truly an inescapable experience.
Level Contributor
109 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Awesome, well organised value for money”
Reviewed August 6, 2014 via mobile

Value for money does not come easy in SF but this trip was everything we wished for and more. We booked quickly and easily through the website. We did this as soon as the tickets came on sale as we visited in the height of summer - it would not have been possible to visit Alcatraz if we had waited until we were in SF. Additionally we booked the night tour. I believe this sold out a good month before we visited. The night tour gives the option of returning at 8.40 or 9.25. Most of the group waited until the latter pick up and were rewarded with pitch black skies and SFs stunning lights towards the end of the evening. The boat crossing was quick and had a snack bar. Once on the island things could be done in any order once we had been set up with the audio tour. This tour was narrated by ex prisoners and guards which added to its impact. Overall, a really good way to spend the evening.

Visited August 2014
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Thank Teamporsereturns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Eagan, Minnesota, United States
Level Contributor
80 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Rich history, well presented”
Reviewed August 6, 2014

We thoroughly enjoyed our day at Alcatraz. We took one of the early morning boats in the hope that the island would be less crowded - that turned out to be a good decision as by mid day it was harder to move around and stick together.

The boat ride was nice - make sure you have a jacket handy!! We started with the audio tour and it was phenomenal. Made me feel like I was a part of the history. After the tour we spent some time walking around and checking out other buildings that weren't part of the tour and getting some pictures of the view back to San Francisco.

Well worth the cost and time - a great "living" history lesson!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Heidi H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cockermouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Awesome”
Reviewed August 4, 2014

Simply brilliant from start to finish. Great tour with audio in various languages an abolute MUST for all travelers.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Neil B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nebraska
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Super Friendly!”
Reviewed August 2, 2014

What a fun experience! The staff was so friendly and helpful even though they were asked the exact same question but dozens of people each time they answered as if it was the first time they were hearing it. My family and I arrived early, while the preceding tour was still lined up. Unsure of where we should wait we asked the gentleman directing "traffic". He answered super politely and then I watched as he had to answer that same question multiple times by well meaning tourists. This company seemed to understand that this is a vacation experience for people and as such they are on unfamiliar territory. They do what they can to make sure that it is a pleasant memory for their customers.
The tour of Alcatraz itself was good for the most part. I have been there before and had no issues with the self guided tour but this trip (10 years later) 2 in our party had machines that stopped in the middle of a section and when they got it going again it was at the very beginning of that section or had skipped it entirely. Made it difficult for our large group to stay together. Our kids are older so it was not a big deal but if we had younger children that would have frustrated me more.
The trip back was nice and we were able to get a snack on the ferry without being overpriced too terribly bad, though the food was definitely not great. I've had gas station nachos that were better than what was served on that boat. But overall we loved the trip and it was a great experience.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Heidi_25_55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Simply Epic”
Reviewed August 2, 2014

We did the evening tour which we booked 3 months in advance - good job too as Alcatraz sells out really fast. The evening tour offers you more than the daytime ones and is excellent value for money at just $37.00 each. The boat taking you across tours the island first to give you a scale of the place. Once on the island, a guide gives you details of which additional rooms/locations have been opened specifically for the evening tour as well as pointing out other programmes/talks that may be of interest.

Once inside the prison building itself, the audio tour was amazing as it featured the voices of both ex-guards and inmates and really gives you a feeling of the history in the place. We were also free to roam around at will and there was no pressure to be hurried up at all. The two 15 year olds in our party were totally mesmerised by The Rock and that's not something we've been able to say about many of the attractions we've taken them too across the world.

In total, from boat out to boat in, our trip lasted just over 3 hours and it just flew by. I'm not normally one for gift shops but I must say that the items on sale in the Alcatraz shop are a cut above the usual tat you see in places and reasonably priced too.

All in all, a superb attraction so make sure you visit it (but make sure that you book up well in advance) - you won't regret it!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank BaggieMark1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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